To resolve the problem of overflooding of river ghaggar basin, the Supreme Court has directed the States of Punjab and Haryana to act and take corrective measures recommended by the Central Water and Power Research Station, Pune.

The Bench of Justice MR Shah and BV Nagarathna held thus "Therefore, we direct the concerned States to take appropriate steps in terms of the recommendations made in the final Model Study Report submitted by CWPRS, Pune and to take all corrective measures as suggested/recommended."

The background of this case pertains back to 2019 when the Chairman of the Central Water Commission was directed to conduct a meeting to find a solution to the problem of flood experienced by agriculturists from 25 villages due to overflowing of river Ghaggar.

It was decided in the said meeting that a Mathematical Model Study (MMS) should be conducted by CWPRS, Pune, regarding mitigation of flood problems for the entire Ghaggar basin in consultation with the respective State Governments.

The Supreme Court had asked CWPRS, Pune to complete the study and place a report before the Court.

Aishwarya Bhati, ASG appearing on behalf of the Central Water Commission placed on record the additional information regarding Mathematical Model Study (MMS) on Ghaggar basin and the latest updates.

In the said additional information it was stated that the Final Model Study report was submitted by CWPRS in 2021, which was forwarded to State Governments.

In the meeting held to discuss the final model study report, it was concluded that short term measures, which involves widening of river from 60m-90m at some feasible reaches along with limiting water level rise to 2 m at both banks by constructing embankments, in model study report is an optimal solution and needs to be adopted by State Govts.

Advocate K. K. Mohan appeared for the petitioner, Advocate Ranjeeta Rohatgi appeared for the state of Punjab, Advocate Ejaz Maqbool appeared for the state of Haryana, Advocate Ruchi Kohli appeared for the state of Rajasthan and Advocate Arvind Kumar Sharma represented Central Water Commission.

The Court noted that "…the concerned State Governments are required to act appropriately and in time bound manner as per the recommendations made in the final Model Study Report by CWPRS, Pune so that the problem of overflooding of Ghaggar basin to the detriment of 25 villages, which has remained unresolved for last many years can be resolved."

The Court also opined that periodical meetings should be held every four weeks of the concerned stakeholders to discuss the progress on implementation of the recommendations.

The Court further directed the Ghaggar Standing Committee to send a report after receiving all further information from the concerned States on implementation of the recommendations every three months to the Central Water Commission and in turn the Central Water Commission to submit the report before the Supreme Court.

Cause Title- Nagar Panchayat Moonak and Ors. v. State of Punjab and Ors.

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